Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wine Wednesday!

As planned, I'm back with a finished doily and a glass of wine for Wine Wednesday! Woo Hoo!  It's done.  It's almost embarrassing that it took me so long to finish this - good thing I blogged about it or it might not be done yet.  I really like this small doily and its bit of color, and I always seem to enjoy Mary Konior patterns. I will count this doily as Motif #21 of my 2nd 25-Motif Challenge. 

Motif #21
Mary Konior Flowerpiece from Tatting With Visual Patterns
Ecru and Mountain Breeze Lizbeth Size 20

I got home from work today and got those last ends woven in.  I used my Best Press to give it a little starch before I pinned it to my blocking piece of foam core.  I decided to take it outside and get pictures of it before it's completely dry so I don't totally miss Wine Wednesday again :) 

It's hot here today - about 86 degrees and sunny.  My deck provides me with a nice place to sit after work and enjoy a little breeze and some shade.  It's my favorite spot to sit and relax, and enjoy the birds and flowers and the sound of Little League bats cracking the ball at the little park next door.  Very relaxing.

I am used to sewing and crocheting, which produce a finished project much faster than tatting, so it frustrates me that tatting is so slow going.  I very much enjoy tatting though - I think it's much prettier than crochet.  And even though I love to connect with other tatters and have a tatting group to share with, I like the fact that tatting is a unique craft that not many people do.  It's not a "fad".  It's a true art that takes skill, determination and concentration!  I always tend to like unique stuff - I'm so NOT a conformist :)  I'm just slow!

I continue to destroy my needle threaders.  Does anyone else have this problem?  Or maybe it just happens when I'm using larger threads - like size 20.  Sheesh!  I think I've been through several now, and need to stock up again.  See?  I pulled the threading wire right out of it.  Again.

OK, it's Wine Wednesday, not Whine Wednesday! My wine today is from a local winery.  (Yes!  We have wineries in the midwest!)  I usually enjoy red wine, and this is a Temperanillo from Spain that our local winery distributes.  The wines that they actually make on-site are made from grapes grown in Minnesota (can you believe it?) that were developed at the University of Minnesota, mixed with grapes from California.  This particular wine was on sale and within my budget :)

I think my next project will be a dragon - I've been wanting to try one!  I think Michelle has talked me into it with her pretty Anne Bruvold dragons.  Think I can finish one by NEXT Wednesday?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The NOOK did it . . .

I'm ALMOST done.  (Pitiful when I look at the accomplishments of others, but I'm really not comparing.)  It's getting there, but there's just so much LIFE to live!  Here is my Mary Konior doily - almost done. 

It's not a difficult pattern.  I tat a little at lunchtime at work, a little at night at home.  I said "a little".  I meant that!  A few minutes here and there.  I have so many excuses . . . but for the past week my excuse is my new NOOK Color.  A fun little gadget that is proving to be worth every penny.

While figuring out how to get books from the public library, I chose one of my favorite categories to search for a book (Historical Fiction) and proceeded to just pick a book and request it so I could "practice" downloading a library book. I started reading the book while just playing with the NOOK, and couldn't believe what I stumbled upon. 

First of all, not only is the book historical fiction, but the story is based in Minnesota/Wisconsin, so the locations are all familiar to me.  As I read, I found the main character to be a young woman photographer - another interest of mine.  And 15 pages into the book, a photographic subject had TATTING on his baptismal gown.  I thought that all was quite amazing since this was a book I just plucked from nowhere to "practice" with my NOOK!  Ironic.  A sign.  I believe I will have to finish the book.  AND finish my doily!  Only 2 more motifs to go to finish this small doily.  Join me on WINE WEDNESDAY for the finished product!  I will be enjoying a glass of red and showing proof of a finished doily :)

Another excuse is the gardening.  Well, rather the weeding.  I love my flowers, but hate the weeding.  This is the view from my patio:

The vegetable gardens are way in the background with my lovely toilet planter that was part of my excuse for not tatting much the LAST time I posted. So I get sidetracked easily.

 And this is the view toward the patio:

 I'm not so good at planning out the blooming, so all of the yellow will be gone soon, with very little to replace it.  Another WIP (work in progress) I'm afraid :)

See you Wednesday.  With some wine. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

No Tea, No Wine, No Tatting

I missed tatting on Tuesday with Tea, on Wednesday with Wine, and on Thursday, Friday and today.  I actually accomplished some other things though.

I made a batch of Strawberry Rhubarb jam.

I did a little sewing.

 I spent some time with a cute 2-year old.

And I made a little humorous art when the bathroom toilet had to be replaced. [Imagine questioning look from hubby when I said, "Wait!  Don't throw that out!"]
It adds some color to the edge of the vegetable garden :)

I did some planting to brighten up the deck.

And added some color in the yard until the perennials start blooming.

And I finally accomplished some weeding.  Which is still not done.

But the weeding is never done.  Yuck.  I put the weeding off as long as I can. 
Weeds are easier to pull when they're a foot tall anyway. 

And tonite we'll watch some fireworks over the Mississippi River during the annual Father Hennepin Festival.  Father Hennepin crossed the river here in 1680, and was captured by Sioux Indians.  The area was settled as the City of Champlin, and they celebrate each year with this 3-day festival.  Father Hennepin was a priest and explorer who explored the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River.  He brought Niagara Falls to world attention, and our own St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis - which are the only waterfalls on the Mississippi River.

And that's why I STILL have not completed my doily. 
Soon.  Very soon.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Irises vs. Finches?

My funny "Aha!" moment story.  (Well, maybe it was a funny "Duh" moment.) 

I love seeing the birds in my yard, and I'm always trying to capture good photos of them.  So, when I saw 3 or 4 pretty little finches in my irises, I grabbed the camera to get a shot of them.

I slowly crept around so as not to scare them away.  Can you see the 3 finches?  I was rather proud that I was able to snap a few photos before they flew away.

Once they flew away, I went to see what they were so interested in.  Bugs in my flowers? 

Upon closer inspection, I found this:

Duh.  While I was snapping photos of these "cute" little birds, they were destroying the iris buds, pecking to get to the tender center.  And to think I was carefully sneaking around to not scare them away while they were actually ruining the flowers!  I guess the joke is on me.  If it's not the deer, it's the finches!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Handmade Tags

Since I usually make many things to give away as gifts, my daughter suggested I start putting tags in these handmade things.  The idea sort of inspired me, but I really don't make things for recognition, or to have a business. 

Still, the thought intrigued me, and what the heck?  It shows I put my heart into making something.  Besides, why not?  It gives each item a little extra flair :)

I started looking on Etsy for tags, (I LOVE Etsy) but then I thought, "hey, dum-dum, you make everything else, why not make your own?"  Besides, it would be a little more cost-effective, since I'm not doing it for business purposes. 

Easy-peasy.  Get some transfer paper to run through your printer and buy some twill tape by the yard.  Set up a Word document to print columns of whatever you want your tag to say, and print - remembering to print the MIRROR IMAGE. Iron onto the twill and Voila!  Tags for your handmade items.  Now I need to figure out some kind of tag for tatted items, since clearly I will not be adding this kind of tag!

So then I had an offer for FREE business cards.  (The F-word that gets me every time.)  So I thought again - why not?  I put my blog address and my email on them.  What for, I'm not sure, but they're fun to have.  

  What will I do with 250 business cards? 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wine Wednesday?

I LOVE having vacation with no plans.  Just staying near home and doing whatever I want.  Well, anything I want within reason. 

Yesterday I took a little trip to visit my folks, who live about 2-1/2 hours away.  I brought along my Glee CDs and my new Adele CD, and sang at the top of my lungs for most of the way from eastern Minnesota to northwestern Wisconsin.  I brought tatting to share and we spent the day digging in fabric and thread and doing a little sewing. And yak, yak, yak.  It was a fun visit with no real schedule.

Mom quilts.  A lot.  All the time.  She makes beautiful quilts, and has an abundance of finished quilts and oodles of fabric.  (I follow in her footsteps with my oodles of thread.)  She was showing me some recent quilts, and I expressed my love of a Christmas lap quilt's fabric.  "The binding isn't done", she said.  "If you want to finish the binding, you can have it."  Didn't take me long to say "Really? Heck yeah, I'll finish it!"  It's a beautiful lap quilt that will be fun to have out at Christmastime.  I was really attracted to the lighter green for some reason - it adds a shade of color that isn't typical of Christmas.

And it's quilted beautifully.  It will be a treat to get this finished - and better yet, I have until December to do it!

So, my doily needs finishing and I have hankies to tat edges for.  Not to mention some other various sewing projects and this quilt to finish.

 But hey, I'm on vacation and I can do anything I want. 
Maybe it's time to start Wine Wednesdays.